Best and Worst Store Brands: Review Club Studs and Duds

We’ve had lots of new Brandefy Review Requests come in and we are LOVING it! You all are searching for loads of products across different categories. From ice cream to paper towels, and baggies to mayo (yes, we taste-tested mayonnaise), Brandefy has got you covered. See what store brand products hit it out of the park, and which ones are getting benched.

Best of Store Brands

For the Bathroom:

Refresh Tears Lubricant Eye Drops vs. CVS Health Lubricant Eye Drops

Similarity Score: 95%

This is a very close dupe and functioned well for the eyes. They come in similar bottles that are easy to use. We recommend switching to save.


Scope Mouthwash vs. Equate Mouthwash

Similarity Score: 89%

Testers thought these were very similar with slight, but not too noticeable differences. Freshen up and save $.


It’s a 10 Miracle Leave in Hairspray vs. Sally Beauty Generic Value Products Leave in Hairspray

Similarity Score: 88%

Our beauty guru felt this was a great value for the price. She found the smell, feel, and functionality to be very similar overall.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer vs. Trader Joes Face and Body Sunscreen

Similarity Score: 81%

These two sunscreens feel extremely similar. The Neutrogena has a slightly stronger smell than the Trader Joe's, but they both rub into the skin quickly and smoothly.

Olay Regenerist Serum vs. Equate Beauty Regenerating Daily Serum

Simiarity Score: 81%

The only notable difference is that the Olay smells far more floral, while equate has no detectable smell. Other than that, this is a good dupe across feel and functionality.


For the Kitchen:

Mountain Dew vs. Mountain Lion Citrus Soda

Similarity Score: 97%

All of the testers would switch to save and no one could tell these apart in a blind taste test. The store brand does have 3 more grams of sugar per serving and the bottle is bigger, but we'd switch on taste alone!

Sunbeam Giant White Bread vs. Great Value White Sandwich Bread

Similarity Score: 96%

Note- the store brand has NO high fructose corn syrup, and the name brand does. Our bread expert would switch and he noted that he preferred the texture of the store brand.

Diet Coke vs. Food Lion Diet Cola

Similarity Score: 95%

Three out of five testers could not tell these apart in a blind test. Those who could noted the store brand soda had a stronger taste of sweetener.

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Dr. Pepper vs. Great Value Dr. Thunder

Similarity Score: 93%

All testers would switch to save and our Dr. Pepper/general soda expert, Aaron from Soda Jerk, said he was amazed by how close the Walmart version is to the name brand. Half of the testers could not tell these apart in a blind taste test. Those who could noted the store brand has slightly more cherry flavor.

Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise vs. Publix Real Mayonnaise

Similarity Score: 91%

These two spreads were very close along taste and texture. We thought Hellman's had a little more vinegar, but it's not very detectable.


Stove Top Cornbread Stuffing Mix vs. Kroger Cornbread Flavored Stuffing Mix

Similarity Score: 91%

All testers preferred the store brand to the name brand, they thought it had a better texture and more herbs in the flavor.


Old El Paso Extra Large Taco Shells vs. Kroger Jumbo Taco Shells

Similarity Score: 91%

Four out of four testers would switch to save. These were extremely similar and a great dupe. We should note that Old El Paso are made in a gluten free factory, and Kroger cannot make this gluten free claim.


Jif Creamy Peanut Butter vs. Great Value Creamy

Similarity Score: 90%

Our testers would switch to save, and noted taste and smell were very similar. However, Jif has a smoother texture.


Turkey Hill Cookies N’ Cream Ice Cream vs. Kroger Deluxe Cookies N’ Cream Ice Cream

Similarity Score: 88%

Testers would switch to save. The Kroger ice cream has a plastic lid lip that protects against drips. The Kroger is more of a whipped cream texture while Turkey Hill is firmer and like traditional ice cream. The cookies in the Kroger ice cream come in bigger chunks.


La Croix Pink Grapefruit vs. Kroger Grapefruit Flavored Seltzer Water

Similarity Score: 85%

While the Kroger is a similar substitute, testers thought the name brand had a slightly stronger grapefruit smell and flavor.


For the Household:

Cascade Action Pacs Dish Detergent vs. Home Sense Dish Pacs Diamond Clean

Similarity Score: 87%

These are some of the better generic dish packs we've found- for starters, the Home Sense has gel in the packs, as well as the powder. We tested them on long set-in grease and they got the job done. Dishes smelled clean after use as well.

BandAid Flexible Fabric Comfortable Protection vs. Kroger Fabric Bandages

Similarity Score: 90%

The fabric and stickiness is extremely similar. One tester left both band aids on for over 36 hours and they both stuck through showers, etc. The biggest difference is in the pad of the band aid. There is a sticky-rim around the pad of the generic band aid, but the pad is flush with the edge of the band aid on the brand name. If the cut is smaller than the pad, this shouldn't be a problem, but if the cut is larger and you wanted to stack band aids on top of each other you should go with the name brand.


Kleenex Ultra Soft Tissues vs. Kroger White Unscented Tissues

Similarity Score: 86%

Testers thought the Kleenex brand was slightly more silky than the store brand. They also noticed that the Kleenex tissue was more durable. If you want a luxurious way to blow your nose, keep with the name brand! If you want a less expensive, but decent tissue overall, switch to save.

Worst of Store Brands

For the Bathroom:

Peter Thomas Roth Hyaluronic Cloud Cream vs. Ulta Beauty Waterfull Gel Cream Moisturizer

Similarity Score: 58%

Peter Thomas Roth brand is creamier/thicker and leaves our skin feeing silky; while Ulta brand was slightly more sticky to the touch after applying. Ulta brand smell far more floral, as well.

Perricone MD Hyaluronic Intensive Moisturizer vs. Ulta Beauty Waterfull Gel Cream Moistuizer

Similarity Score: 63%

The Perricone cream had a thicker/ oilier substance to its feel, this coated the skin more than the Ulta. Perricone feels more moisturizing. Ulta smells more floral.

For the Kitchen:

Cambell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup vs. Great Value Cream of Mushroom Soup

Similarity Score: 45%

The Great Value soup is much more powerful on the mushroom- both in smell and taste. If you have a mushroom-loving crowd, throw it in your next casserole. However, we recommend Campbells if you are going for a more subtle Cream of Mushroom.


Cheerios vs. Great Value O’s Oat Cereal

Similarity Score: 63%

The Cheerios have a toasty grain taste, and the Great Value O's have little to no taste. Stick with the one and only Cheerio-os!

Nabisco Nilla Wafers vs. Kroger Vanilla Wafers

Similarity Score: 74%

The Nilla wafers has more of a powerful flavor. We noticed more notes of vanilla, sugar, and butter- stick to the name brand when you want a sweeter treat.


Silk Vanilla Soy Milk vs. Simple Truth Vanilla Soy Milk

Similarity Score: 73%

Testers commented that the Silk milk was much richer and tasted like vanilla dessert. Stick with the original!


Pilsbury Buttermilk Biscuits vs. Food Lion

Similarity Score: 78%

The store brand does not have layers to peel like the name brand, it is just a biscuit. However, testers really enjoyed the flavor of the store brand. If you're not worried about peeling off flakes, get the store brand.T

Breyers French Vanilla Ice Cream vs. Food Lion French Vanilla Ice Cream

Similarity Score: 79%

The testers were split on this one, and it comes down to preference here. Breyers is a firmer, yet still creamier, ice cream. Food Lion does have a stronger vanilla taste, so if taste is more important to you, you can switch to save!


Diet Dr. Pepper vs. Kroger Diet Dr. K

Similarity Score: 84%

Testers who prefer Diet Dr Pepper noted a sweeter, cherry taste in the store brand. If you aren't an avid Dr Pepper drinker and don't mind a sweeter version then the store brand will satisfy your craving. If you are an avid DDP drinker, stick with the name brand.

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Fig Newton’s vs. Great Value Fig Bars

Similarity Score: 85%

The Great Value Fig Bars contains high fructose corn syrup, while the Fig Newtons do not. Additionally, the Newtons come in a top seal container, and the Great Value comes in wrapped sleaves. Testers thought they tasted similar, but there's more fruit to cookie in the Fig Newton. If you don't mind the corn syrup, switch to save.


For the Household:

Ziploc Bags (All Sizes) vs. Food Lion Baggies

Simiarity Score: 71%

Our expert tester found the Food Lion bag to be easily breakable, thinner, and more difficult to open and close. Ziploc is the superior bag in this case.


Charmin Essentials Toilet Paper vs. Great Value Everyday Soft Toilet Paper

Similarity Score: 79%

The Charmin toilet paper has a smoother texture and feel. The Great Value has a raised texture and is rough feeling. The Charmin also gives you more sheets per roll.

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Carolyn KochardComment